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The last piece in a suit about natural moods - and almost tonal. It’s the last piece I’ll write in this style. Gave me trouble. I scrapped a piece I posted recently that just meandered about and got nowhere. I hope this makes more sense.

This one is about scents floating in the evening air, reminiscent of a brief holiday in a village in the south of France. Written about 3 months ago and given a few touch-ups yesterday.

The orchestra includes a piccolo trumpet for the highest trumpet notes.

Comment good or bad would be gratefully received if you can afford the 5 mins to give it a listen. Many thanks.

Cheers, Dane

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Absolutely love this, Dane! Great to hear others 'experimenting'. I love the chord structuring- bringing in full chord progressions & using them sparsely to invoke a feeling & then letting other instruments carry on the feel of the piece. Just wondering= what sounds/ software/ VSTs are you using?

Top stuff IMO, Sir.

Peace.

DC.

Always a pleasure to listen to your work, Dane.

Am I right I'm hearing the beloved bass clarinet in it?

I feel some passages need some more meaning, yet I listened to it just one time,
must pay more attention to it.

You also did a great job at rendering, as usual.

Keep safe.

Merry Christmas.

Dane,

 I admire your ability to make these types of compositions. No bad comments to make on this. It's excellent! 

Delightful, Dane! As always, you show a keen ear for instrumental colours, and some of the passages where one orchestral choir gives way to another are stunning in effect. There is great economy here in the use of what seems to be a very fullk orchestra. There seemed also to be more "structure" in this piece as compared with some of your other impressionistic essays. I liked particularly the gradual accumulation of tension up to about 2:10 or so, and the ending was very effective.

My only criticism would be with the samples themselves, and I echo DC Cornelius's question about your sample library. The brass choir, in particular, sounded a bit "off", as if electronically synthesized rather than true instrumental samples. Maybe that's an artifact of my own system, I'm not sure. It just sounded a bit odd.

But that's niggling stuff - as others have said, this is excellent work.

Hello there!

Sincere thanks for listening and your kind comments. I still have a few concerns about balance (being I want the piece to sound like it would in concert, so I'll be looking at that. I use mainly VSL samples, have built up a collection over a couple of years, all from the VI series. Their benefit is (well, naturally) the consistency of organisation but that aside from strings, single instruments are available so it's possibly to add something as money allows (and are currently at about 30% down on list prices!

DC Cornelius said:

Absolutely love this, Dane! Great to hear others 'experimenting'. I love the chord structuring- bringing in full chord progressions & using them sparsely to invoke a feeling & then letting other instruments carry on the feel of the piece. Just wondering= what sounds/ software/ VSTs are you using?

Top stuff IMO, Sir.

Peace.

DC.

Hello Fabio,

Thank you for listening and these most encouraging remarks. This is the final piece in a suite and I seem to have lost my mojo a bit in this style, maybe because from the first piece to this last, the 'paperwork' of composing has changed somewhat. So possibly (if I read you right about 'meaning') it still needs more refinement to sharpen the focus. I should have spent more time on the paper rather than try to adjust it through the daw. It's probably going to be best to wait until I can transcribe it to notation software then look at the score in more detail.

Yes, that's a contrabass clarinet. From the VSL single instruments I chose it over the contra-bassoon for its ability to sound the deepest notes very quietly without it seeming to disappear over the horizon! It can make a heck of a noise if needed though.

Again, many thanks.

Fabio Biolcati said:

Always a pleasure to listen to your work, Dane.

Am I right I'm hearing the beloved bass clarinet in it?

I feel some passages need some more meaning, yet I listened to it just one time,
must pay more attention to it.

You also did a great job at rendering, as usual.

Keep safe.

Merry Christmas.

Hi, Timothy,

Many thanks for listening and your generous comment. I feel that further touch-ups on the balancing wouldn't go amiss. (The loudest bits hit about +1.5db on the scale so the whole thing needs quieting down on the mixer rather than velocities. I have a standard template that 'evens out' the mezzoforte for all instruments but it seems this needs adjusting.

So thank you for your encouraging comments and I'll have another look at that template. 

Cheers,

Dane.

Timothy Smith said:

Dane,

 I admire your ability to make these types of compositions. No bad comments to make on this. It's excellent! 

Liz, hi! Long time no 'see',

And many thanks for listening through and your comments. As always, much appreciated. As I'm hopeless at melody construction I tend to think orchestrally in timbres and their interplay. There are a couple of weaknesses in this piece that I tried to disguise. In live performance it would need brass players to start entries very quietly indeed - most can sound with a soft attack. In using the samples I don't alter or delay the attack at pianissimo so am relying on genuine sampled performance. (Unless of course, Vienna have doctored the samples - I hope not!).

Not sure about the brass. If it's the upper brass, the scoring includes a piccolo trumpet that sounds brighter than a Bb trumpet otherwise used, and I have the "humanise" feature turned about 50%. It effectively gives a different characteristic to every note played, so perhaps that's why they occasionally sounded a bit off. 

There's also the loudest brass chords just hitting the mixer's red line which may mean distortion. I've found the samples generally to be faithful in sub-fortissimo sounds. So if it sounds weird it's probably my fault! Perhaps I'll have another look at the general orchestral balance on the mixer desk.

Anyway, again, thank you for commenting. Most encouraging. 

Cheers,

Dane.

Liz Atems said:

Delightful, Dane! As always, you show a keen ear for instrumental colours, and some of the passages where one orchestral choir gives way to another are stunning in effect. There is great economy here in the use of what seems to be a very fullk orchestra. There seemed also to be more "structure" in this piece as compared with some of your other impressionistic essays. I liked particularly the gradual accumulation of tension up to about 2:10 or so, and the ending was very effective.

My only criticism would be with the samples themselves, and I echo DC Cornelius's question about your sample library. The brass choir, in particular, sounded a bit "off", as if electronically synthesized rather than true instrumental samples. Maybe that's an artifact of my own system, I'm not sure. It just sounded a bit odd.

But that's niggling stuff - as others have said, this is excellent work.

Dane's answers are always as interesting as his propositions.

I don't say this because he says I am right, but because he is right.

It's always difficult for me to express myself in words about music —that's why I often do "like" member' submissions instead of writing replies—, the worse doing it in a different language.
Glad to read he reached my toughts: artistic self-consciousness is a quality you scarcely find even in celebrities.

Oh, and then, there's the contrabass clarinet. I started to love its junior (?) sibling, the bass- one, hearing from Bennie Maupin and Eric Dolphy and prefer its round, warm timbre to the tenor saxophone. Must dig more into this monumental reed weapon.

About attacks. I put in my matrices the same patch with different attack time at need (eg. softer pizzicatos, custom shaped sustains etc.), in conjunction with Expression and VelocityFx curves, of course.

Keep safe.

Happy New Year.

Hi Dane!

Yes, I've had no time to participate here during what I've been calling the "semester from Hell". I'll probably disappear again after mid-January as the so-called Spring semester gets under way. I'm currently revising the large-scale work I posted here over the summer, fleshing out the development midway and trying to provide some much-needed relief from the prevailing sombre mood. Might finish it in time to post in January, might not.

Yes, it was mainly the high brass that sounded odd to me. And I noticed what sounded like a touch of clipping at one of the fortissimo points, so I'm not surprised you were hitting the red line. There's also the possibility, as I said, that I'm hearing some artifact of my reproduction system - currently listening on a borrowed headset from work that minimizes the harshness I hear in the NotePerformer samples when listening to my own piece. It does not provide perfect fidelity though, and may even have some distortion that is causing some of the odd brass sonorities I hear in your piece.

Best,

Liz

Dane Aubrun said:

Liz, hi! Long time no 'see',

And many thanks for listening through and your comments. As always, much appreciated. As I'm hopeless at melody construction I tend to think orchestrally in timbres and their interplay. There are a couple of weaknesses in this piece that I tried to disguise. In live performance it would need brass players to start entries very quietly indeed - most can sound with a soft attack. In using the samples I don't alter or delay the attack at pianissimo so am relying on genuine sampled performance. (Unless of course, Vienna have doctored the samples - I hope not!).

Not sure about the brass. If it's the upper brass, the scoring includes a piccolo trumpet that sounds brighter than a Bb trumpet otherwise used, and I have the "humanise" feature turned about 50%. It effectively gives a different characteristic to every note played, so perhaps that's why they occasionally sounded a bit off. 

There's also the loudest brass chords just hitting the mixer's red line which may mean distortion. I've found the samples generally to be faithful in sub-fortissimo sounds. So if it sounds weird it's probably my fault! Perhaps I'll have another look at the general orchestral balance on the mixer desk.

Anyway, again, thank you for commenting. Most encouraging. 

Cheers,

Dane.

Hi, Fabio,

Many thanks.

Talking about music will always be a problem I guess - and it's the thing that galls me about music critics, they try to talk about the quality of music or its delivery - but there are no words to describe musical experiences except like and dislike!

The problem about meaning - to me - comes down to 'is it relevant'? In compositions based on melody (classical and 'classically' romantic styles), it's easy for composer and listener to spot irrelevant bits of padding, less so in impressionistic work. Technically, interrupting a rhythm or dissolving one harmony into another are deliberate but when adding in a bar or two to connect two disparate sections, are we doing that as a quick fix rather than reworking the sections together? 

I notice a couple of bars here and there that I added in because "split and glue" didn't quite work so a bridge seemed necessary. But listening again, it sounds like 'he had to pad it out with something or it wouldn't work'! (Instead of reworking the music so I flowed 'naturally'.)

Fabio Biolcati said:

Dane's answers are always as interesting as his propositions.

I don't say this because he says I am right, but because he is right.

It's always difficult for me to express myself in words about music —that's why I often do "like" member' submissions instead of writing replies—, the worse doing it in a different language.
Glad to read he reached my toughts: artistic self-consciousness is a quality you scarcely find even in celebrities.

Oh, and then, there's the contrabass clarinet. I started to love its junior (?) sibling, the bass- one, hearing from Bennie Maupin and Eric Dolphy and prefer its round, warm timbre to the tenor saxophone. Must dig more into this monumental reed weapon.

About attacks. I put in my matrices the same patch with different attack time at need (eg. softer pizzicatos, custom shaped sustains etc.), in conjunction with Expression and VelocityFx curves, of course.

Keep safe.

Happy New Year.

Hi again, Liz,

Yes, given your circumstances you have to fit things together as best you can (which can be a nuisance in something like creative work where, if things are flowing along nicely, the last thing you want is to have to break off. Then when you can return, quite some effort is getting back into that flow. It's why I tend to work quite intensely once I've developed a bit of any idea).

This piece came with problems. Sure there are always problems on the way but it's when something leads to a lot of back-revision that the headaches start. I tend to save a new version and erase back as far as need be to get a new start.

My latest thing involves voices again and I suspect I'm moving to the lost cause of a secular cantata / musical drama-ette. Things are flowing nicely and I'm taking full advantage of the lockdown!

Talk anon, and hope to have a listen to your revisions as-and-when.

Liz Atems said:

Hi Dane!

Yes, I've had no time to participate here during what I've been calling the "semester from Hell". I'll probably disappear again after mid-January as the so-called Spring semester gets under way. I'm currently revising the large-scale work I posted here over the summer, fleshing out the development midway and trying to provide some much-needed relief from the prevailing sombre mood. Might finish it in time to post in January, might not.

Yes, it was mainly the high brass that sounded odd to me. And I noticed what sounded like a touch of clipping at one of the fortissimo points, so I'm not surprised you were hitting the red line. There's also the possibility, as I said, that I'm hearing some artifact of my reproduction system - currently listening on a borrowed headset from work that minimizes the harshness I hear in the NotePerformer samples when listening to my own piece. It does not provide perfect fidelity though, and may even have some distortion that is causing some of the odd brass sonorities I hear in your piece.

Best,

Liz

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